Tag Archive for Barack Obama

Squandering a Chance with Iran

President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Under pressure from hardliners in Congress and Israel, the Obama administration backed away from what could have been a historic agreement with Iran over limiting its nuclear program. Instead coercive diplomacy has become almost an end in itself, as Gareth Porter explains.

Possible Motives for Ousting Hagel

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel shakes hands with President Barack Obama at the White House on Nov. 24, 2014, as the President announces that Hagel is resigning. (U.S..government photo)

Exclusive: At the start of Barack Obama’s second term, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was seen as the best hope for standing up to the neocons, inside and outside the administration. Though Hagel proved to be a weak champion, his sudden removal could portend more trouble ahead, writes Robert Parry.

The Risks of No Iran-Nuke Deal

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks sith Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu about Iranian Nuclear Talks in Vienna. (State Department photo)

Facing Republican/neocon pressure, President Obama balked at a final deal with Iran over its nuclear program, extending talks but increasing chances that political forces in Iran might repudiate more moderate leaders favoring a deal, a risk that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says would not serve U.S. or Iranian interests.

Will the Iran Deal-Wreckers Prevail?

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sitting next to President Hassan Rouhani and addressing the cabinet.

Iran appears ready to sign an agreement tightly constraining its nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief, but neocons and other U.S. hardliners appear determined to wreck the deal, which could make Mideast tensions even worse, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

CIA’s Torturous Maneuvers on Torture

CIA Director John Brennan at a White House meeting during his time as President Barack Obama's counterterrorism adviser.

Exclusive: The CIA is fighting congressional demands to release a report on its covert program for torturing “war on terror” suspects, even as the spy agency contemplates a reorganization that could give the covert-action side more ways to bend the truth, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Delusional US ‘Group Think’ on Syria, Ukraine

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine, on the South Lawn of the White House, July 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Exclusive: Official Washington’s “group think” on Syria and Ukraine is so delusional that it is putting the whole world in danger, but – as with the Iraq War – the mainstream U.S. news media is part of the problem, not part of any solution, writes Robert Parry.

Ellsberg Discusses Decline of Democracy

Daniel Ellsberg on the cover of Time after leaking the Pentagon Papers

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg discussed the threat of National Security Agency surveillance and the decline of American democracy in a late-night interview that he gave after a lecture at George State University in Atlanta.

The Confusion Around Net Neutrality

President Barack Obama announces the nomination Tom Wheeler, right, as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, on May 1, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama reaffirmed his support for “Net neutrality,” but his appointed FCC chairman Tom Wheeler continues to flirt with ideas for giving major Internet providers more options to charge extra for higher-speed service, reports Michael Winship.

The Double Standards on Bank Crimes

Timothy Geithner (left), then Treasury Secretary, meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (White House photo)

The U.S. government has levied some billion-dollar fines on banks for offenses tied to the financial crisis, but bank officers have avoided the shackled frog-walk and time behind bars, humiliations dealt out routinely to criminals who make off with much less money, says ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

Picking a Fight with China

President Barack Obama shakes hands with staff and their families during a meet and greet at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, Nov. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Amid the tough talk on Russia, President Obama is speaking more softly about China but still seems ready to brandish a geopolitical stick against Asia’s emerging superpower, another unnecessary confrontation, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.